Winter garden fragrance and this year’s Christmas tree


Hello from mid-December and thank you to our new readers for following us. This is such a lovely time of year to be blogging!

Today we had a chance to go outside and enjoy our winter fragrance plants. We’ve been adding one each winter over the last couple of years.

Last year we planted a Viburnum Fragrans (syn: Farreri) which is now flowering for the first time. Lucy stops to smell it each morning before getting on her bicycle:


This year, as Brian couldn’t think of anything he wanted for his birthday, we just treated ourselves to a Mahonia Japonica, which smells like Lily of the Valley:


Perhaps the most exotic and evocative smell in our winter garden is Wintersweet (Chimonanthus). We like watching each other’s faces as we smell it as it is quite an experience, like the highest quality perfume from Paris! Brian grew this from seed and it took 7 years to flower. Worth the wait!


Winter Jasmine (Jasminum Nudiflorum) isn’t fragrant, but it’s beautiful yellow trumpets are perfect for colour at this time of year:


We now have our DIY Christmas tree up, and this year we’ve stayed with alder as it’s budded branches are perfect for hanging baubles.  We took our time and had a lot of fun decorating it this year.

For new readers, the reasons we have this kind of tree are: it’s free, natural, recyclable (we clip it into pieces of firewood kindling in January!), and because we have a very small home there’s no available space in our living room that’s more than 2-3 metres from the open fire, so it’s practical too. Add to that the fact that the end result is more beautiful to us than any other type of tree we’ve ever had…


One advantage of the fact it has to go next to the TV is that you can watch festive programmes ‘through’ it and they become even more sparkly, as demonstrated here by Nigella.


Our home and hearts are feeling festive, we’ve enjoyed making chocolate brownies and drinking hot fruit punch this weekend and discovered yet another great Christmas movie, this time with a cat theme for added enjoyment (Nine Lives of Christmas). We are now pondering the possibility of writing a Christmas movie ourselves but it would have to be different in some way…perhaps an idea will form over the holidays!

Whatever you’re doing in these days before Christmas, enjoy it and keep it simple. Everything that’s essential can still get done, but there’s always something you can let go of so that you can spend more time doing what you love with those you love.


If this owl could talk it would say: Happy Christmas, and keep it fun!






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